Monday, December 23, 2013

This Christmas feels more like Christmas than any in the past!

Zone Christmas Conference
Cody is top row right, fifth Elder in, holding a green sign  

I'm late emailing today because the district president treated us to lunchI can't wait to talk on Christmas!  Wow 80 degrees on Christmas, that will make the beach super nice for you guys! The weather is cold here in the mornings. Its called the "hamatan" it lasts for about a month in December.  Its the dry season, and I don't like it as much. I had to buy a hat because the sun was hurting my eyes so much. We are allowed to wear full brim hats, so I  bought a Billabong full brim hat for a dollar. 

That's okay that Trey lost his bowel (friend of our family who just had surgery this week to fix his sunken chest. Everyone loved the entertainment he gave using his chest as a cereal bowl), I still have Landon's! (another friend of ours who also has a sunken chest who eats cereal from his "chest bowl")  

I got Jake's email too. I wish I went to that MTC, my MTC in Ghana seems like a joke compared to Provo. At ours we would have times when we would just sit in a classroom for 2 hours with no teacher (Cody had a great experience in the Ghana MTC but hears about some of his friends experiences in the Provo MTC and gets a little jealous being that his MTC was not the traditional style. Here is a really nice article about the latest happenings in hastening the work in the Ghana MTC).

We have really sweet investigators right now. Freetown investigators are much more sweet. In Bo we were able to help convert 1 person in three months. Here we will have maybe 4  in 1 and a half months, depending if one lady keeps her commitments. The people here really
have been waiting for this to come to them. Although everyone is willing to listen to us, too many people are distracted with the things of the world to see how important this is for them. 

 I got the chance to go back to that members house and climb the palm tree. I spent an hour 20 feet up with a machete cutting down branches. The people here are not actually prejudice, they just have stereotypes. If people see a white man, they will simply say, "white
man" when they want to get your attention ... haha ... can you imagine calling out to get a black mans attention in America by yelling, "black man"! You would most likely get sucker punched! 

Yeah all is good. Its crazy how much I have learned about using the branch council. We have really put our effort in like Preach My Gospel prescribes, and it's paying off for our investigators. I got to go on an exchange with Elder Outubu, my zone leader, and I learned so much from him. He will go home next transfer but I wish I could have served with him. We have been struggling to have people at our appointments because Elder Flament lost the phone, but I think we will get one in week or two. So when I call Wednesday I will use another missionaries phone.

 We had our Christmas zone conference party this week and it really made it  feel like Christmas. We had a devotional about christ and we all ate lots of food and there was a
gift exchange and many people donated gifts for the Africans so that they could have a sweet Christmas. For some reason this Christmas feels more like Christmas than any Christmas in the past few years.  I think that is because I have grown so much closer to the one we celebrate that day for ...  I have just learned so much about christ. All of the African elders loved all the stuff that was donated for them. I got your gifts but I am waiting to open them on Wednesday. Here is a link to a video taken at his zone Christmas party. You can see Cody right in the middle waving.
Today marks 4 months of  eating rice. I haven't gone one day without eating rice. Wow 4 months has gone by fast! I'll be home soon! 

Christmas in Salone,
Elder Beckett

PS - Wow, thank you mom for helping me become Christ's missionary (referring to the poem below that mom sent him). I love you!

(author unknown)
I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn't there.
No pictures taken with Santa Claus, my decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties, two suits and fun. I've
bought him all white clothes because...
This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I've spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
I've reread November's Ensign, Felt strength come from His words.
Our family prays more frequently. My tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems closer because,
This year I'm giving Christ my son.

I wonder how those Lamanite mothers, gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion, their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence, I'll miss his smile a ton for two years we
will pray for him,
I'm giving Christ my son.

I stare at his face when he's not looking. I memorize his eyes, their
He's always hungered for the part of him, that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard, His choice and mine are one. I'll
put my faith in God's hand, This year,
I'm giving Him my son.

Past gifts have lost their glitter; I think I finally understand Christ's
birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.
It's because I know Christ lives and reigns that all his packing's done. My
gift has taken years to make, This year...
I'm giving Christ my son.

I know there's One who understands, the sacrifice I'm making.
Who knows the gift I willingly give, The toll it will be taking.
For He has done it all before Greater love - there could be none. For years
ago God gave to me, His only begotten son.

The hands I washed, the hands I held, The hands I taught to pray; Now knock
on doors to find the ones Who will listen to what he'll say. Because I know
Christ needs him, Until all the gathering's done, My gift has taken years to
make. This year...
I'm giving Christ my son. —

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